This recipe comes from one of my favourite cookbooks, ‘A Bird In The Hand’ by Diana Henry. I eagerly await her column week after week in the Telegraph and attempt to cook from it religiously. When I’m hard up for lunch recipes on a Sunday, this cookbook has all the answers. What’s better? This cracker of a recipe was a hit with the fish sauce haters in my house too.
Boneless chicken thighs, skinless 1½ pound
Lemongrass stalks 1-2
Fish Sauce ¼ cup
Garlic 5 cloves
Sugar 3 tablespoons
Bird’s eye chillies 1, halved and seeded
Oil 2 tbsp
Onion 1, cut into half-moon slices
Chicken Stock ½ cup
Lime 1, juiced
Coriander 2 tbsp, chopped
White Sesame Seeds ½ tbsp
Trim any fat from the chicken and cut into bite-sized chunks. Trim the lemongrass and remove the outer layers. Mince the soft part of the lemongrass as fine as you can.
Put half of the lemongrass in a bowl together with the fish sauce, sugar, garlic, half of the chillies and the chopped chicken. Mix together with your hands and leave it to marinate for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
Bring to room temperature before cooking. Heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. When the wok is hot enough, add the chicken and get a good colour going on all sides. Add the reserved lemongrass, chillies and onions. Stir-fry until the onion has softened, being careful not to burn the chillies and the lemongrass. Add in the stock and lower the flame. Put a lid on the wok and let the chicken cook for 5 minutes.
After 5 minutes, remove the lid and increase the heat to medium yet again. Continue to cook until the stock has reduced. It should be wetter than a stir-fry but not very wet. Add the lime juice, check the seasoning and scatter over the coriander leaves. Take it off the flame and serve with brown rice and stir-fried vegetables like bokchoi and toasted sesame seeds.